Where did I get this book? The Library!
I was so relieved when I picked up this book from the library and saw that it was only 198 pages. Many of the books I placed on my holds list proved to be 3094835323483209 pages and I ended up taking them back. To have a short and sweet one contributed to the motivation to read it.
I was not prepared for the condensed loneliness and anger that was packed into this story. This might be surprising given that the main character is constantly surrounded by people, but I have found that loneliness is most keenly felt when you are surrounded by people who don’t really see you or aren’t really listening to what you want, need, or care about. From her mom to her boyfriend to her coworkers, the people surrounding the main character seem to be acting in their own best interests and not hers. I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling angry or lonely, sometimes people trying to help instead of just listening worsens how I am feeling.
This loneliness and anger fuels the behavior our 19-year-old pregnant MC throughout the book. I would say that it even triggers her fascination with Jenny, the mother that calls into the pizza place requesting that someone, anyone make a pizza with pickles on it for her picky son. Maybe if she did this special thing for this woman, she would get the attention she craved. Finally she could shrug off the heavy coat of everyone trying to take care of her and she could see what it was like to take care of someone else. Escape into another world.
Freedom can be intoxicating though, I think the kids today call it being ‘thirsty,’ and this new weekly responsibility becomes an obsession. She ignores her responsibilities and can only think of Jenny, as if making her a big enough part of her life might also simultaneously fix whatever seems to be wrong with it. Spoiler alert: it does not.
If you are someone who has felt alone in a crowd, someone who isn’t sure what to do with their life, or who has experienced trauma that has knocked them off course, reading this book is like holding a mirror up to see yourself in this young woman. It portrays a smothered, hurt, beautiful mess. When everything and everyone around you is flawed or broken, how can you possibly find purpose in life? It’s a question worth asking, and one this book will make you ponder.
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